Jan 15, 2014

Flea Market Vendors Show Why Price Matters

The entire town was swallowed whole!

Was it Hurricane Isaac? Nope. Sink hole? Nope. Flea market? Yep. For the 45th year, the tiny Blue Ridge Mountain burg of Hillsville, Va., (population 2,600) was engulfed by a half-million visitors to the annual Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show. More than 2,000 vendors stretched for more than a mile along Route 58 through the center of town, spilling from the sidewalk onto adjacent fields for a quarter-mile on both sides of the road. Except for the Flea Market and a few essential services, the town was shut down beginning Friday morning. The schools were closed, the library was closed and offices were closed.

Dozens of business parking lots and residential yards were rented out for parking and camping. From the hill at the southeastern corner of Main Street, the view was a sea of plastic tarps, tents, RVs and signs. Shoppers pulling carts, baskets and children jostled each other as they struggled unsuccessfully to stay out of the street. The air was filled with the scent of french fries, kettle corn and impending rain. Sounds of Bluegrass music segued into beach music, and both were accompanied by the rhythm of feet shuffling on the sidewalk. Read More

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